Two hundred MetroAccess workers walked out on strike Monday, protesting low wages and bad faith bargaining from WMATA contractor Transdev. The strikers are paratransit drivers, utility, dispatchers, maintenance workers, and road supervisors at the Hubbard Road MetroAccess garage in Landover, Maryland.
“We hoped to share good news with the riding public today about this morning’s negotiations,” ATU Local 689 said on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, Transdev came to the table for fifteen minutes and made no changes to its last proposal. Its proposed wage increases are still beneath what they already offer in other jurisdictions despite the sky-high cost of living in this region.” The union says Transdev “strung us along and waited until our contract expired and then immediately changed all of its proposals to insulting, low-ball, one year agreements.”
While Transdev said it won’t meet with Local 689 to bargain until next Tuesday, the union said “We’re available to meet anytime, anyplace to agree to a fair deal with Transdev or WMATA that could end this strike.”
We hope that everyone understands that WMATA and Transdev are trying to repeat their “Cinder Bed Playbook”.
This week’s developments mirror those in 2019, said Local 689, “when Transdev held out an entire MetroBus garage on strike for 85 days because of its refusal to bargain fairly, WMATA pretended it had nothing to do with the issue. WMATA publicly ignored the situation for months and denied any involvement to the press. They claimed that this was a private dispute between a third party and their contractor. The same thing appears to be happening now with the exact same contractor. Transdev is even using the exact same union busting law firm they had during the Cinder Bed Strike.”
“We will continue this strike however long it takes to win a fair contract,” the union added.